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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Date published:
August 17, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Hushovd to make Tour of Britain debut

    Thor Hushovd enjoys the moment
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 8:05 BST
    By:
    BikeRadar

    Reigning world champ warms up for title defence

    Reigning road world champion Thor Hushovd will lead Garmin-Cervelo's line-up at this year's Tour of Britain, just a week before he heads to Copenhagen to defend his world title.

    The Norwegian, who has signed to BMC for 2012, will be making his debut at this year's race. He's joined in the provisional team by a trio of British riders – David Millar, Daniel Lloyd and Roger Hammond. Martijn Maaskant and Julian Dean complete the six-rider line-up.

    "We are very pleased to have such a strong Garmin Cervelo line-up racing at this year's Tour of Britain, and very much look forward to welcoming the current World Champion Thor Hushovd to The Tour," said Race Director Mick Bennett.

    Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the Tour of Britain continues to attract some of cycling's biggest names, and they don't come much bigger than Hushovd. This year's edition gets underway in Peebles, Scotland on 11 September and concludes with a time trial and circuit race in London a week later. Daily highlights will be screened every evening on ITV4.

     

  • GreenEdge lodge first documents with UCI

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 8:42 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    First steps complete enroute to securing ProTour licence

    GreenEdge has completed the first official steps in its bid to become the first Australian team to gain UCI ProTour licence.

    UCI procedures state that teams making an application must register via an official form by an August 15 deadline.

    "Paperwork was lodged," Bannan emailed Cyclingnews with the UCI spokesman confirming this.

    The next step for Bannan and his GreenEdge project is to lodge the file with the original bank guarantee for 25 per cent of the team's staffing fund requirements and the provisional list of riders and staff members by October 1, plus 15.000 Swiss francs. The total of the guarantee cannot be less than 975.000 Swiss francs.

    GreenEdge is bankrolled by Australian businessman Gerry Ryan, head of the Jayco caravan empire.

    The contracts of at least 15 riders will need to be provided to the UCI by October 20.

    Earlier today, GreenEdge announced its seventh signing, Dutchman Sebastian Langeveld from Rabobank.

     

  • Martin keeps Vuelta a España ambitions in check

    Daniel Martin goes for broke on the final stage.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 9:46 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Irishman looking to test himself in second week

    Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) may head into the Vuelta a España with a relaxed outlook on the race but the Irishman is aware that he ranks amongst the contenders for a top ten placing on GC. However, with the race just days away he has targeted a stage win and admitted that a top ten finish overall is no more than a potential goal.

    “I’m not going to put my hand up and say I’m team leader because I’ve never raced in a grand tour for GC before. Obviously I’m in good shape so I’ll try and capitalize on that in the first week of the race and try and go for a stage. If I’m still going well and still at the front, then we’ll see. But it would be silly of me to have really lofty ambitions,” Martin told Cyclingnews.

    Martin’s attitude mirrors that of Tom Danielson ahead of this year’s Tour de France. The American went into his debut Tour admitting privately that he was in his best form, but publicly he talked about taking things ‘day-by-day’, even though before the race, manager Jonathan Vaughters had already earmarked him as the team’s best placed weapon for an attack on the top ten.

    “Jonathan has said to me that it would be interesting to see what I could do on GC and I’m going into it with a focus of doing as well as I can,” Martin said.

    “I’m just going to try and do both, but I’ve not really thought too much about ambitions. If my form is good I’ll be near the front.”

    And Martin’s form certainly seems to be improving. A stage in the Tour of Poland led to his coach telling him he was in better form that at this point last year, something he will try and utilise out on Spanish...

  • BMC focus on stage wins in Vuelta debut

    Today's time trial winner Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 11:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American team announces all-round lineup for final Grand Tour

    After missing out on an invitation to last year's race, BMC arrive at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana chasing stage victories, but with no aspirations for the overall. Director Sportif John Lelangue explained that with no recognised general classification leader there would be more freedom for the riders in Spain to ride for themselves.

    "We don't have the same objective as we had at the Tour de France [winning with Cadel Evans]," Lelangue said. "So this race is wide open for all the guys."

    The definition of an all-round team, BMC brings riders capable of winning on all terrains. Ivan Santaromita, Mathias Frank and Johann Tschopp will be the team's linchpins as the race tilts up. Santaromita will get the chance to show off what he can do on the climbs after working as one of the key mountains lieutenants to Cadel Evans at the Tour. The race also marks the return to grand tour racing for Mauro Santombrogio after the Italian sat out the Giro d'Italia due to his alleged links to the Mantova investigation.

    In the sprints, BMC will look to Greg Van Avermaet with the Belgian likely to rely on the support of fast developing American Talylor Phinney as well as Italian Manuel Quinziato. Van Avermaet won the

  • Rebellin aims to continue for two more years

    Race winner Davide Rebellin (Miche-Guerciotti) on the podium
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 12:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian tested just three times since return from suspension

    Davide Rebellin may have emerged victorious at the end of the Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday, but he said that he felt “an explosion of anger” on crossing the line at Campione d’Italia.

    It was Rebellin’s first win since his return from a two-year suspension after testing positive for CERA at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His ban ended in April, and the 40-year-old has enjoyed a string of remarkable results this summer since joining Continental outfit Miche-Guerciotti.

    Rebellin admitted to Gazzetta dello Sport after the race that he has been tested just three times since his return to competition: “once at my home in Monte Carlo, and twice at races.”

    However, Rebellin was reluctant to countenance the notion that many fans would question the credibility of his victory given his sullied reputation.

    “It’s always been said that doping shortens your career, and I’m 40 years old,” he said. “The people who know me have always been on my side.”

    Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci has been stringent in his criticism of Rebellin’s return to cycling, but the rider insisted that he was unconcerned by such censure. Rebellin also claimed that even though he handed back his silver medal from the Beijing road race, he still feels views himself as an Olympic medallist.

    “He [Petrucci] can express himself as he wishes,” Rebellin said. “I don’t think I’m the cause of cycling's ills.

    “For me the matter of Beijing is closed and I don’t want to start a polemic. In my heart I still feel that medal is mine. In any case, I’ve...

  • Katusha to bring Pozzato in from the cold?

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) is looking to better his second place finish from 2009.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 13:25 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian considers extending contract into 2012

    Apparently on the brink of being frozen out by Katusha in recent months, Filippo Pozzato has revealed that the Russian team is now keen to keep him on its roster for next season.

    Publicly criticised by team manager Andrei Tchmil during the spring classics and left out of the Katusha line-up for the Giro d’Italia, Pozzato has been strongly linked with a move away from the squad throughout the summer.

    Last week, Il Giornale di Vicenza quoted Pozzato as saying that he was set to join his former Mapei Espoirs coach Roberto Damiani at Lampre-ISD next season. Speaking ahead of the Coppa Agostoni on Wednesday, however, Pozzato explained that he has not yet put pen to paper with Lampre.

    “I haven’t signed with anybody,” Pozzato told tuttobiciweb.it. “There are still other possibilities. In the end, there will be changes here at Katusha. They would like to keep me too, so it’s not a given that I have to change team.”

    Chief among the changes at Katusha is the arrival of Pozzato’s fellow countryman Valerio Piva as sports manager following the demise of HTC-Highroad. As well as speaking to Lampre and Katusha, Pozzato’s is understood to have entertained overtures from Geox-TMC and Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli.

    “For now, I’ll weigh things up for a bit. As soon as I know something more concrete I’ll decide where to go. I’m not lacking in offers,” Pozzato said. “I’ve already met twice with Katusha,...

  • Degenkolb signs for Skil-Shimano

    John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 15:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German talent pens two-year deal

    Skil-Shimano has added to its stable of young talent by signing John Degenkolb on a two-year contract. The German neo-professional joins the squad from HTC-Highroad, which will cease operations at the end of the season.

    Degenkolb has clocked up six victories so far this season, including two impressive stage wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, and he is hopeful that he will be afforded even greater scope to develop in his new squad.

    “This is a great opportunity for me,” Degenkolb said. “I may have been part of the best team in the world, but with my new team I will probably have even more chances and with the choice of this project, I’m convinced that I can prove myself on the highest level next year. In the Classics, I will have an open role that really suits me.”

    A sharp sprinter, Degenkolb will face stiff internal competition at Skil-Shimano from his fellow countryman and new professional Marcel Kittel, who has won 12 races in 2011. Degenkolb is confident that the pair can dovetail its efforts, however, having raced together in the Thüringer Energie set-up before turning professional.

    “My new team is also building a strong sprint train so that I can compete in mass sprints as well,” he said. “Marcel Kittel and I are both quick, complement each other and we can also get along with each other really well.”

    Skil-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink was enthusiastic about his new acquisition, which follows on the back of the arrival of Patrick Gretsch from HTC-Highroad.

    “His signing underlines our ambition and reinforces our intention to represent Skil-Shimano in the biggest and most important races,” Spekenbrink said. “We...

  • Nibali and Scarponi ready for Vuelta a España

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) lost time to Michele Scarponi (Lampre)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 18:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Liquigas-Cannondale and Lampre-ISD name their teams

    After crossing swords on Italian roads throughout the opening half of the season, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) will continue their duel at the Vuelta a España, and both men can count on solid support from their teams in Spain.

    Scarponi pipped Nibali for second place at the Giro d’Italia in May, but Nibali enters the Vuelta as reigning champion and is sure to put up a stout defence of his title. He will be flanked in the Liquigas line-up by a number of the riders who rode in his service at the Giro d’Italia, including Eros Capecchi, Alan Marangoni and Valerio Agnoli.

    “We know how strong we are and we’re also aware of the expectations surrounding our team,” Liquigas-Cannondale directeur sportif Mario Scirea said. “Nibali’s race preparations at Passo San Pellegrino with our trainer Paolo Slongo went extremely well and in Poland he showed that his condition has clearly improved: we’re sure he’ll be one of the main contenders.”

    As well as supporting Nibali in his quest for a second red jersey, the squad’s Spanish campaign will see Peter Sagan make his eagerly-anticipated Grand Tour debut. The precocious Slovak has been in scintillating form in recent months and he will offer Liquigas an outlet in the sprints in the opening week, but Scirea was understandably keen to downplay expectations.

    “Sagan is also in very good form but we mustn’t forget that he is only 21 years old and this is his first attempt at a three-week race,” Scirea said. “He needs to take the race a day at time without...